From Steve Souders, author of High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers, comes the following useful 14 “Rules for High Performance Web Sites“:
- Rule 1 – Make Fewer HTTP Requests
- Rule 2 – Use a Content Delivery Network
- Rule 3 – Add an Expires Header
- Rule 4 – Gzip Components
- Rule 5 – Put CSS at the Top
- Rule 6 – Move Scripts to the Bottom
- Rule 7 – Avoid CSS Expressions
- Rule 9 – Reduce DNS Lookups
- Rule 11 – Avoid Redirects
- Rule 12 – Remove Duplicate Scripts
- Rule 13 – Turn Off ETags
- Rule 14 – Make AJAX Cacheable and Small
As he notes, fetching Web sites generally follows the “80-20” principle: 20% of the time a user waits to see a page is spent getting the actual HTML page. 80% of the time is spent on everything else.
The book is still in the “rough cuts” stage, but sounds like an excellent and practical guide to making your site more usable and functional from a user perspective.